The and it would go again to the Soviets,

The
Cold War saw a competition between the worlds two great powers, the democratic
capitalist United state and the communist Soviet Union. Both sides would fight
to have the best technology in space, and who could achieve the first. As world
war II was coming to an end the Americans and the soviets captured Germanys
rocket engineers and their rocket technology including V-2’s (see appendix 2).
One recruit of value for the Americans was the rocket engineer Werner von Braun
who would lead the U.S. program. The Soviets meanwhile, would recruit Ukraine
born Sergei Korolev to lead the soviets space program. In 1955 both countries announced
that they would be launching satellites into orbit. The Soviet Russian’s took
the lead by becoming the first to put a successful satellite into orbit when
they launched Sputnik 1 (see appendix 3) on October 4, 1957. Unfortunately for
the Americans their successful launch of their first satellite, Explorer 1,
would come a whole four months later. Next would come another remarkable
achievement and it would go again to the Soviets, the first man in space, in April
1961   cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person
to orbit the earth. Traveling in the spacecraft Vostok 1, when he came back to earth
Gagarin became a hero to the Soviet Union and a celebrity worldwide. The
lagging U.S. launched The Freedom 7 three weeks later and astronaut Alan Shepard
became the first American in space. The Americans were embarrassed at being
behind the Soviet Union and on May 25 1961, President John F. Kennedy made a
bold claim to congress, that America would be the first to put a man on the
moon and they would do it before the end of the decade. The Apollo Program was
launched. Meanwhile in February 1962, John Glenn became the first American to
orbit earth and on June 1963 soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the
first woman in space. NASA now had an increase in its budget to achieve its
daunting goal of putting a man on the moon first, and by the end of the decade.
After many test flights, training and experiments, The Apollo 11 spacecraft was
launched into space on July 16, 1969. Onboard the Apollo 11 were American astronauts
Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. On July 20, 1969 the Eagle had
landed on the moon’s surface Neil Armstrong stepped outside and became the
first man to walk on the moon, he then said those famous words “That’s one
small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. America had officially won the
space race.